Sound artist Perri Lynch's installation Precisely Known Completely Lost probes similar extremes by juxtaposing field recordings and images that depict King County's survey stations, those small bronze disks embedded in streets, sidewalks, buildings, and parks that once helped surveyors make maps, assess property, and establish property boundaries.
"On a walk in Discovery Park," writes Lynch, "I stumbled over a round, metal disk protruding from the ground. Stamped into the disk was the name HARRY, and below that, an arrow pointing west. My curiosity and uncertainties about this subtle, yet substantial landmark are the foundation for this exhibition."
The images of Precisely Known Completely Lost are vertical diptychs, pairing a close-up of a survey-station disk, usually emblazoned in concrete and surrounded by grass, dirt, and foliage, with a photo of the mostly blank sky directly above. The field recordings capture street sounds--roaring wind, footsteps, and clanking metal sheets--in two tiers, one several feet above the listener's head and the other at ground level.
Is Lynch suggesting a subtle shift in our personal geography? Most of the time we stroll along, glancing at the sidewalk to navigate obstacles or briefly gazing at the sky to espy an early moon. Apart from reminding us to watch the ground as we walk or to gaze at the sky above, Precisely Known Completely Lost points to a new territory to see and hear. CHRISTOPHER DeLAURENTI
Precisely Known Completely Lost runs Monday through Friday until Wed Nov 26 (Jack Straw Productions, 4261 Roosevelt Way NE, 634-0919), 9 am to 6 pm, free.